Hugs and Kisses Goodbye: Live from XOXO 2014 (Episode 93)

Jen Bekman, Zoë Salditch, and Mike Merrill were our guests live on stage at the XOXO 2014 festival in Portland, Oregon, as part of the Story evening that also featured Hrishikesh Hirway's Song Exploder, featuring a song by The Thermals; John Roderick (The Long Winters) interviewing Chelsea Cain; and Harmontown with Dino Stamatopoulos.

Jen Bekman founded 20x200 in 2007 to provide art at accessible prices. She spoke about her in work in 2012 at XOXO. Then she had a terrible, no good, very bad year. For a lot of reasons, she can't discuss the particulars of what happened, but she had to reboot 20x200: its site, its technology, its art, and its trust with existing customers.

If you have beautiful digital art, you need a place to display it. That's the idea behind Electronic Objects, a massively funded Kickstarter project from a month ago. But Zoë Salditch's interest is less in the technology than the uses to which people will put it. In the midst of producing their EO1 model, they have artists in residence working on concpetual ideas and are considering one future for their hardware as a platform for art — maybe 20x200 and EO have a lot in common?

With most people, saying "I can buy and sell you" is a boast about one's own ostensible net worth. With Mike Merrill, it's the literal truth. Mike is a publicly traded company, and shareholders can vote on the course his life takes, including how he pursues romantic interests. Shares in KMIKEYM have traded as high as $25 and typically change hands in a band of $5 to $10. Volume is low.

This is our last regularly scheduled episode as we go on hiatus and consider a path forward. Keep watching this site and @newdisruptors for news about future projects.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast has been made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

gifpop, the makers of physical renditions of your animated GIFs through the scientific magic of lenticular printing! Take a GIF with up to 10 frames and receive a version that you can tilt for animation, or buy a design from featured artists who receive 80% of the purchase price — or even submit your own work for consideration for sale. Listeners get 10% off a gifpop order by using coupon code DISRUPT during checkout.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks to our Patreon backers for all their support! Bryan J. Clark, Pasha Alpeyev, Andy Baio, Matthew Blai, Alex Bond, Henry Brown, Anirvan Chatterjee, Ready Chi, Jordan Cooper, Craig, Tarun Gangwani, GravityFish , Accounting Guy, Gregory Hayes, Brian J. Geiger, Jonathan Mann, Mike Mansor, Kris Markel, Roman Mars, Andrei Matetic, Gordon McDowell, Andy McMillan, Rönne Ogland, George OToole, Elliott Payne, Garry Pugh, "r," Neil Richler, James Robilliard, Kay Schumann, Jonathan Stark, Kyle Studstill, Ted Timmons, CJ Tully, and Ben Werdmuller.

(Photo by Brad Dowdy.)

Fit to Print with Andy McMillan (Episode 92)

Andy McMillan makes things that bring people together: the Build conference, the XOXO festival, and The Manual, a series of books with thoughtful essays about design. After producing three print volumes of The Manual, he's trying to take it to the next level, and produce something openly, broadly available across many media, that's a collaboration with those who want to make it happen — and is funding it on Kickstarter. We'll talk books, ebooks, community, and hugs and kisses.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get a $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers Gordon McDowell, Ready Chi, and Bryan C. Clark for supporting us directly.

(Photo by Ian Linkletter.)

Set Your Radio Dial to Maximum Fun with Jesse Thorn (Episode 88)

Jesse Thorn is a polycast — a polymath of podcasts. He helped define the form by taking a show that he developed with others on a college radio station and making it into a podcast in 2004. That show, the Sound of Young America, now called Bullseye, focuses on interesting cultural trends and sports in-depth interviews, and is distributed by NPR as of last year. He also hosts and produces Jordan, Jesse, Go with Jordan Morris, co-hosts and produces Judge John Hodgman, owns the site Maximumfun.org, produces and contributes to the men's style site Put This On, run a cruise and a conference (MaxFunCon).

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Thanks also to our Patreon backers for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can help keep this podcast going for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

We talked about a number of things, of which here are some:

Welcome to the World of Tomorrow with Nicole Dieker (Episode 85)

Nicole Dieker wears a lot of hats, as well as a brown coat. She's a freelance copywriter and ghostwriter, pens fiction, and writes essays. She's also a musician who bootstrapped herself out of a convention to which she returns every year, a rock climber, a Firefly fan, a whiskey drinker, and much more. Nicole wears her earnings on her sleeve, too: she discloses in regular posts precisely how much she's made in her freelance career.

Sponsors and patrons

Our show is made possible through the generous support of sponsors and patrons.

We're sponsored this week by:

99designs: Have dozens of designers from the over 310,000 that are part of 99designs's network submit ideas for your logo, Web site, T-shirt, car wrap, or other design project, then pick the best and have a finished, professional result in a week or less for a flat price. Our listeners can visit this special destination page to get $99 Power Pack of services for free!

Harry's: Disrupting the conventional razor piece, Harry's bought a 93-year-old German factory to produce its high-quality razor blades, which it delivers straight to your home at a fraction of the cost of cheaper blades you purchase at retail. For $15, get a set with a handle, three blades, and shaving cream. Use coupon code DISRUPT for $5 off your first order!

Thanks also to our patrons Ben Werdmuller, Bryan Clark, and Tarun Gangwani for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

Conjunction Junction with Oni Hartstein and James Harknell (Episode 83)

Oni and Harknell founded Intervention (Internet + Convention) after constantly fielding questions from creators looking for advice; it's now in its fifth year. The partners created the event aimed at people trying to make their own opportunities to express creativity, often with a commercial angle as part of a career, while keeping it affordable, accessible, and inclusive. It's grown from a surprising 500 participants in its first year to over 1,000 attendeees expected in 2014. They're launching a second event, a Doctor Who fan event called (Re)Generation Who, in 2015. We talk about creating an event, serving an audience, and building a community.

Sponsors and patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Swiftly.com, a new service of 99designs.com, gets small design jobs done fast. For just $19, they match your small design job with a professional graphic designer and complete it in less than one hour. All designers handpicked from the talented community at 99designs.

Thanks to Cards Against Humanity, which is helping underwrite our indie ads. CAH just launched a site where you can buy directly from them, including their Bigger Blacker Box and their 2012 and 2013 holiday packs, the profits from which are donated to charity.

Our indie advertisers this week are:

  • Bee, an issue tracker and timesheet app for the Mac.

  • Nearly Impossible, an event for people who make and sell physical products.

Thanks also to patrons Andy McMillan, Ready Chi, and George O'Toole for supporting us directly through Patreon! You can back this podcast for as little as $1 per month. At higher levels, we'll thank you on the air and send you mugs and T-shirts!

Show notes

In a surprising move, no show notes are needed for this episode, as all the references are self-contained or in the introduction above!

Attention to Convention with Matt Conn (Episode 61)

mattconn-square-250.jpg

Matt Conn wanted to organize a safe event for gaymers — that's people who game and are part of the LGBTQ continuum. The GaymerX event is meant to be inclusive of all people, but especially those harassed, marginalized, or ridiculed in mainstream gaming. The first GaymerX took place August 2013; the next happens in July. We talk about what it's like to help a community be part of birthing a new convention.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons.

Media Temple: Web hosting for artists, designers, and Web developers since 1998. Media Temple hosts beautiful websites and great ideas. Use code "tnd" to get 25% off your first month.

lynda.com: Over 2,000 high-quality and engaging video courses taught by industry experts — with new courses added daily. Listeners get a free 7-day trial with full access to all content by visiting lynda.com/tnd and signing up.

Audible: Choose from over 150,000 audiobook titles across all genres. Listeners get a free audiobook and free 30-day trial by visiting audiblepodcast.com/disruptors and signing up.

BackersHub.com: BackersHub is a daily deals Web site that rewards people who have backed previously successfully Kickstarter campaigns with exclusive discounts.

 

And thanks to our patrons, supporting us by making a monthly pledge via Patreon. You can pledge as little as $1 a month; at higher levels, get our on-air and Web site thanks, T-shirts, and more! Thanks this time to Abraham Finberg and Bob Owen! You help make it all happen.

Show notes

Matt is America's worst driver.

Brianna Wu has written a few pieces from the perspective of a female gamer and game developer for The Magazine. "Choose Your Character" was about the group dynamic challenges of her firm, Giant Spacekat, as its team sorted out life choices and personalities while pushing forward at a breakneck pace to ship the game. Revolution 60. (Which is about 50 days away now!)

In "GOTY 2013: Badass Girls Need Not Apply," she explains that the relative lack of women in games journalism (and the negative attention women-identified people receive in writing reviews) contributes to disregarding the interests of a large segment of game players. (She also wrote a follow-up to that piece to address positive and negative critiques.) Carolyn Petit wrote the review of Grand Theft Auto V that received over 20,000 comments, mostly negative and many horrible.

The Geena Davis Institute on Gender in Media (what an awesome thing to exist in our universe) commissions research studies "on gender prevalence in family entertainment." Davis cites a study (though doesn't provide its name) in an NPR interview that found, "If there's 17 percent women, the men in the group think it's 50-50. And if there's 33 percent women, the men perceive that as there being more women in the room than men."

The initial GaymerX Kickstarter raised over $90,000 towards its $25,000 goal. GirlGeekCon in Seattle is another show that is designed to provide a safe and fun experience free of harassment. While it is oriented towards the interests of women across geek culture, science, and technology, it is inclusive of all people.

Chi-Fi (not ChiCon, as I erroneously called it) said a few weeks ago that it was canceling its 2014 convention because of its concerns that the hotel would be able to work with its anti-harassment policies. However, just a few days ago, the convention said it was able to book a new hotel! Chi-Fi is on for one day: March 29, 2014.

Matt and the Gaymer team funded an Ouya gaming system game just a few weeks ago, and will launch a Kickstarter soon for the 2014 convention, GaymerX2, July 11 to 13! Be there!

The Zine Machine Lives: Boing Boing at XOXO (Episode 55)

In September 2013, I interviewed at the XOXO conference and festival the four lead editors of Boing Boing, an online, thriving descendent of zine culture that is one of the most popular blogs on the Internet. For the day after Christmas, it seems appropriate to celebrate generosity and gift culture with Mark Frauenfelder, David Pescovitz, Cory Doctorow, and Xeni Jardin.

As with all the sessions at XOXO, the presentation is Creative Commons licensed, and I separately obtained permission from Andy Baio and Andy McMillan. Thanks, too, to Mike Gebhardt and Betty Farrier of brytCAST.com, the folks who videotaped throughout XOXO 2012 and 2013, for providing the high-quality audio file.

You can watch the entire session as video, too, on YouTube.

To follow along with some of the early part of the interview, as I introduce the editors, you can view this PDF.

Photo by Andy Baio.

The Labors of Job with Alli Dryer and Jenni Leder (Episode 50)

Two UI/UX designers in fur hats, Jenni Leder (left) and Alli Dryer.

Two UI/UX designers in fur hats, Jenni Leder (left) and Alli Dryer.

This podcast often emphasizes going it alone. But what if you could achieve your own dreams of continuous learning and creative expression while also having full-time jobs and getting that mythical thing, a regular paycheck? I talk with Alli Dryer and Jenni Leder, user interface/user experience (UI/UX) designers, who changed their lives — and those of their husbands — to bring their lives closer to what they want within the structure of employment. We talk about that most scary of words to your host, a J-O-B, in this episode. On Twitter, find Jenni @thoughtbrain and Alli at @allidryer.

Sponsors & Patrons

This podcast is made possible through the support of sponsors and patrons. Thanks to TextExpander (Smile Software) and Cards Against Humanity!

TextExpander: Avoid the tedium of typing by tapping a few keys and expanding.

Cards Against Humanity is a party game for horrible people.

 

And thanks to our patrons, supporting us by pledging an amount via Patreon for each episode we produce. Thanks this time to GravityFish! You help make it all happen. 

Show notes

Somebody said, "Writing about music is like dancing about architecture," but it's entirely unclear who it was. I heard it first on a Laurie Anderson album.

As with me, XOXO 2012 changed Alli and Jenni's lives. We all also attended XOXO 2013. I actually saw someone using a Windows 8.1 touchscreen laptop. Jenni and Alli have one husband each, not two collectively.

For inexplicable reasons, Alli helped bring Bacon Soap into existence. She's not even sure why. My subjects are two of the people featured on UI/UX Designers in Fur Hats, a very niche site I developed after seeing multiple pictures of such people in such chapeaus. (Please submit your own.)

Glenn often winds up in the Twitter stony lonesome, the pokey, the big house, the pen, the calaboose — you know, Twitter jail. He tweets a bit too much. Jenni, Alli, and Glenn are all heavy App.net users. Favd is an iOS app that uses App.net for storage, and can cross-post images across multiple services.

Alli is an expert at Cards Against Humanity, and wrote this article on how to win the game. Max Temkin, one of CAH's inventors, was a guest on this podcast in June.

Capptivate captures app interactions using Reflector, an amazing conduit between an iOS device and a Mac or Windows system. Alli also mentioned Tumult Hype as a way to capture animations in HTML5 form.

Maple Mark compiles interesting uses of maple leafs to symbolize Canada. The Baselstab (Basel staff) is used extensively in that Swiss city. Jenni volunteered her time to work on Wake Up, because she loved the product and wanted to help the indie designer improve its utility.